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Added April 23, 2014

Identity Theft Stories: Another Reason You Shouldn’t Share TMI Online by Anastasia Goodstein

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I'm sure your parents have warned you about posting too much personal information on the Internet. The reason almost everyone gives? Sexual predators. While there are definitely sexual predators online who are looking for kids and teens to chat with, the reality is that most of you guys are pretty smart about ignoring these creeps or telling them to buzz off. If you encounter anyone sending you sexually-explicit messages online, you should always report their profile to the site's administrators. The chances that a predator will just see your blog or profile and show up at your school without ever having interacted with you online are very slim.
 
There is another reason you shouldn't put too much personal information onlineit's called identity theft and there are many identity theft stories out there. This is what happens when a criminal can pull together enough of your personal information to use for their own financial gain. Identity thieves have been very attracted to social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook because there are lots of teens on them with NO credit history. That's right, because you aren't applying for credit or jobs or renting an apartment until you're older, most likely nobody is checking your credit reports. Identity thieves need just enough of your personal information to apply for credit cards and make a mess of your financial life. Identity theft can ruin your credit score for years, making it really hard for you to get credit cards, rent apartments, or buy a car. It can take you (or your parents) hundreds of hours to clean it up.
 
Here are some simple tips to make sure you're not posting TMI for identity thieves:
 
Limit the amount of personal information you post on your blog or profile.

While you're under 18, don't post your full first and last name on your blog or social networking profilemake up a fun nickname or pseudonym to use instead. Never post your social security number, driver's license number (if you have one), cell phone number, or home address.
 
Be careful what you blog.

If your blog is public, don't post stuff like when your family will be away from your house for vacation or other long tripsa clever criminal can try to figure out where you live and take advantage of your family being gone, raid your mailbox, and find all sorts of personal information.
 
Watch out for email scams or "phishing." 

If you still check your old-fashioned Web email account, be very careful of spammers who send emails asking you for money or any other personal information. Don't click on any email attachments unless you know who sent them. Just hit delete.
 
Be wary of quizzes or other online surveys that ask you to enter lots of personal information.
 
Make sure any site you have to register to join is secure and legit.

Be weary of contest sites advertised through pop-ups or associated with any brand or company you are not familiar with. If you're shopping online, most likely you have to use your parent's credit card, so make sure they check out the site before you enter in their information.
 
For more information on identity theft, identity theft stories, and lots more tips, check out this site just for teens:  http://www.idtheftcenter.org/teen/teen.html

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comments so far
Toot toot
Toot toot
Posted June 23, 2014
Girls/boys be careful on Facebook vine and kick and integrate because when you start doin your profile and you press submit. Trouble gonna start. If you don't take my advice you on you own. Peace out bro
SuperCuteKitty
SuperCuteKitty
Posted June 07, 2014
I NEVER give out personal stuff about me... I often make up names, ect. However, not unless I'm kinda familar to the page. For instance, I trust Facebook and BeingGirl. So I give real information on that web.
madrose4803
madrose4803
Posted March 01, 2014
katyperryfan12301- that's EXACTLY what I do I use nottellingyou for my last name .... I actually used it for here when signed up I wasn't familiar with this website so yeah >.<
hotpinkcow
hotpinkcow
Posted March 29, 2014
I was cyber bullied in 7th grade. I thought I had a lot of friends but when I got a Facebook I saw that people felt bad for me. I said something an they didn't know what to do so they bullied me. Worst year of my life. No friends. Now I have lots of friends and am captain of the cheer team because I decided that I didn't care what anybody thought of me. It's crazy that my best friend started it all:(
BubbleGumgirl55521
BubbleGumgirl55521
Posted February 21, 2014
I always watch what i do online but my mom wont let me have a facebook or stuff like that
Isabel.05
Isabel.05
Posted December 16, 2013
identidy criminals are bad
Samieflower
Samieflower
Posted April 16, 2013
I try to stay safe on the internet. Sometimes I would tell people my real name, but now I am more careful.
HeartoftheNorth
HeartoftheNorth
Posted August 05, 2012
@Puppyglittergal897 Oh my gosh I had someone do that to me too. They told me to call their church and gave me a number, telling me about how wealthy their father was and that he'd died so the money went to her. Fortunately, I knew that "she" wouldn't have internet access had "her" story been true and caught "her" before anything bad could happen.
8e8b8c4dc8270223840f491d3d93c765
8e8b8c4dc8270223840f491d3d93c765
Posted July 04, 2013
I know that I should care about what I say online, but I don't...
Isabel.05
Isabel.05
Posted December 16, 2013
criminals are bad.because they can murder people.
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